(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – The Edmonton Oil Kings finished off a fantastic 2014 with one of their best efforts of the season.
The Oil Kings (17-16-3-2) directed a season-high 59 shots on goal as they scored a 4-1 win over the Swift Current Broncos (18-16-0-4) Wednesday night at Rexall Place.
“It’s a great end to the calendar year. It’s been a wonderful calendar year for the Edmonton Oil Kings, and it’s certainly a fitting end to that,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton.
The Oil Kings were in control for almost the entire game, outshooting Swift Current 19-5 in the first period and continuing to control the puck for the rest of the game, with the shots finishing 59-18.
“That was as complete an effort as we’ve had in a long, long time,” Hamilton said. “I thought every guy understood the game plan tonight and every guy was really committed to executing it. … We defended really hard when we had to, and I thought we were relentless in our pursuit of the puck in the offensive zone.”
“We were getting to the puck quick, we were getting it out, and we were holding our blueline really well tonight,” added Oil Kings forward Brett Pollock.
Affiliated player Tyson Gruninger, 16, opened the scoring for the Oil Kings just 3:02 into the game with his first career WHL goal. The Drayton Valley native burst down the right wing and ripped a wrist shot past Swift Current netminder Landon Bow.
“(I’ll remember) all the boys hugging me afterwards,” Gruninger said. “They were just happy to see me score.”
Glenn Gawdin tied the game for Swift Current 1:35 later, but Brandon Baddock regained the lead for the Oil Kings just 1:07 into the second period.
“We talked about having two guys buzzing down low … and all four lines did a great job of that,” said Pollock. “We were physical on our forecheck and we created a lot of turnovers, and that allowed us a lot of opportunities to put pucks on net.”
Ashton Sautner also scored for Edmonton, and Pollock added an empty net goal. Andrew Koep and Dysin Mayo each added a pair of assists for the home side.
Tristan Jarry made 17 saves for the win in the Edmonton net, while Bow made 55 stops in a losing effort.
The Oil Kings are back in action Friday night when they host the Lethbridge Hurricanes.